The Fifth Facade, Zurich Airport

  • task:
  • Roofing and reorganisation of BP filling station at Zurich Airport
  • client:
  • Zurich Airport AG and BP Europa SE
  • procedure type:
  • competition 2019, invited, 1st Prize
  • technical planner:
  • Dr. Kreutz+Partner, Nürnberg (structural engineer) | nachtaktiv, Zürich (lighting design) | AFC, Zürich (fire protection) | H+S ingenieure, Nürnberg/Zürich (building services) |
  • team:
  • Thorsten Rehfeld, Marcella Combalia, Rosanna Just
  • visualization:
  • luxfeld digital art, Darmstadt |
  • Valuable new space is being created within the ring of Zurich Airport. The view of the future users into the distance goes directly to their feet over to the motorway access roads, airport roads and a long, narrow, sealed area with heterogeneous use.
    A geometrically precisely drawn object creates calmness and clarity in the foreground of the new panorama to the south over the Alps beyond the city.
    The underside of the roof appears pleasantly bright and inviting, even from a distance. 24 support beams, which stand between lanes and parking lots, hold a grate, which carries a flat water basin as roof skin. This area – also called the fifth façade – changes with the seasons, daylight, sky color and wind.
    Against a homogeneous dark background, the water and the roof cladding dematerialize, creating gentle, flickering reflections or abstract doublings of the sky image.
    The users below the roof walk under a white, light, polygonal cloud. At selected points sunlight – refracted by the water and the glass panels – shines down to the roadway level.
    The cassettes closed at the top are diffusely illuminated by a central luminaire and the necessary functional lighting on the ground is supplemented by a glare-free spotlight replacement.
    At dusk, softly colorless LEDs shine from the edge into the shallow layer of water. A glare-free light line provides sufficient light on the pedestrian bridge and allows the eye to wander unhindered over the water surface. In addition to low maintenance, this lighting is characterized by consistent minimization of light emissions.
    A busy group of flat cleaning robots travels just below the water surface in formation or as a “randomized” swarm and automatically keep both, the bottom of the pool and the surface free of deposits and flotsam.